Article ID: CBB000850201

Klein, Einstein, and Five-Dimensional Unification (2007)


I examine the changing attitudes of Oskar Klein (1894--1977) and Albert Einstein (1879--1955) toward the notion of extending general relativity by an extra dimension with the aim of encompassing electromagnetism and gravitation in a unified field theory. I show how Klein developed his model of five-dimensional unification with the goal of explaining the discreteness of atomic energy levels, and how Einstein later embraced that goal. By examining the correspondence between Klein and Einstein, some of which was relayed through Paul Ehrenfest (1880--1933), I speculate that Klein's work helped motivate Einstein to explore deterministic five-dimensional theories as a potential alternative to probabilistic quantum mechanics. Finally, I consider the contributions of Wolfgang Pauli (1900--1958) to the subject and elucidate his role in convincing Klein and Einstein that their models were not viable.


Description Looks at the correspondence between Klein and Einstein, some relayed through Paul Ehrenfest; also looks at the contributions of Wolfgang Pauli.

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Authors & Contributors
Sauer, Tilman
Rowe, David E.
Pound, Robert V.
Torretti, Roberto
Renn, Jürgen
Sommer, Klaus P.
Physics in Perspective
Berichte zur Wissenschaftsgeschichte
Archive for History of Exact Sciences
Historia Mathematica
Science and Education
Revue de Synthèse
Princeton University Press
University of Chicago Press
Harvard University Press
Relativity, general
Correspondence and corresponding
Quantum mechanics
Einstein, Albert
Ehrenfest, Paul
Hilbert, David
Bohr, Niels Henrik David
Sommerfeld, Arnold Johannes Wilhelm
Born, Max
Time Periods
20th century, early
20th century
20th century, late
21st century
19th century
Berlin (Germany)
Harvard University

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